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Maduro announces 30-day power rationing in Venezuela gripped by blackouts

Maduro announces 30-day power rationing in Venezuela gripped by blackouts

Maduro announces 30-day power rationing in Venezuela gripped by blackouts

People collect water using containers in Caracas, Venezuela, March 31, 2019. © REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has approved a 30-day plan to ration power across Venezuela, until its power grid is restored. Caracas blames US-backed sabotage for crippling power outages that led to water shortages.

Maduro announced the measure on Sunday, as the Latin American country was struck by yet another wave of blackouts. By capping the energy supply, the government hopes to "balance the [power] generation process, secure the transmission process as well as service and consumption processes across the country," he said.Also on rt.com Venezuela blackouts: Maduro blames the US, but is it possible?

Emphasis has been placed on making sure that all residents have access to fresh water, he said. Maduro said that that he expects school classes, called off in the wake of a major incident at the country's biggest hydroelectric power plant last week, to resume either on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Earlier on Sunday, the government said that in addition to having schoolchildren stay at home for few more days, it is establishing an early working day that should end by 2.00 pm. The latest massive outage last Monday saw Venezuelans cramming into overcrowded buses as they took off to get home in the evening.

Blackouts have become a common occasion in Venezuela as it grapples with a severe economic crisis exacerbated by US sanctions that keep its fraying economy in a chokehold. Power outages plagued the citizens throughout the week and were reported on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

READ MORE: Hundreds march in Washington, DC to protest against NATO, US interference in Venezuela

The authorities in Venezuela are blaming "criminals" and "terrorists" for damaging power installations, allegedly incited by the US. Protests over the lack of access to power and water resources were reported in Caracas on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Maduro called on Venezuelan Peace Squadrons ("cuadrillas de paz"), popular militia organizations allied with the government, to "defend peace" in the country in face of calls for unrest.

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